By Wendy Williams
A CONTROVERSIAL train line that threatens to carve up Ronda’s main tourist valley has been included in the new town plan shining a light on the mayor’s empty promises.
The new PGOU plan, which is open to the public, shows the line running west of Arriate through Llano de la Cruz to a new station at La Indiana.
Despite protestations of hundreds of locals and businesses, the line will come within yards of Hotel La Fuente de la Higuera, voted by Trip Advisor among the Top 10 in Andalucia.
This comes despite the current PP mayor Maripaz Fernandez promising residents at various meetings in December that the train would stay on the existing line through Ronda town centre.
She insisted central government had agreed with this plan, although she was unable to explain how they would get the freight trains up the famously windy, narrow stretch of line going past Arriate.
“That is up to the technicians to work out,” she said, adding: “We want it to cause minimal environmental damage and it is vital to protect the valley.”
Now, it seems the town hall has done a complete U-turn putting one of Spain’s top hotels – and dozens of other tourist businesses – under threat.
But not everyone is surprised by this seeming change of heart.
“An initial draft of the PGOU was created two years ago which though never published always included the line through Llano de la Cruz,” said a town hall source.
“The smartest people, or those with inside knowledge, have already sold,” he added. “This is a clever, conniving con trick and has caught many people out.”
Meanwhile the mayor insists her position has not changed.
“We received different information verbally but, as yet, this has not been included in the official reports.
“In the town plan there is an AVE station in Indiana, but the information we have been given is that it will stay in Ronda.”
The public now has three months to contest the plan.